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Top activist stories   7 Top activist stories 7 Document Transcript

  • A REVIEW OF FINANCIAL ACTIVISM BY GENEVA PARTNERS March 15th,2013TOP ACTIVIST STORIES N°7Activist investor Cevian Capital has raised its stake in Denmanks Danske Bank A/S in what could be a prelude tobecoming more directly involved in the banks recovery program.1GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comThe French dairy giant is cutting costs and chasing profits, instead of market share. This follows activist investorNelson Peltzs Trian Fund Management taking a stake. Peltz believes the company can lift shareholder value.Eni Spa (ENI) has no plans to spin off oil services company Saipem SpA (SPM) regardless of pressure fromshareholder Eric Knight, Eni Chairman Giuseppe Recchi said.Billionaire Carl Icahn is reviewing Dell Inc. (DELL)’s books as he pushes alternatives to a proposed $24.4 billionleveraged buyout of the personal computer maker that faces mounting resistance from investors.The saga surrounding Herbalife Ltd. continues.The Childrens Investment Fund Management, a U.K.-based hedge fund, has threatened to pursue legal actionagainst the board of Coal India Ltd., Indias largest coal producer, for allegedly not protecting the interests ofminority shareholders.Fermenting Change at DanoneActivist fund becomes Danske Banks 2nd biggest investorAckman Praises Plea for Herbalife ProbeEni Won’t Spin Off Saipem Regardless of Knight Vinke RequestIcahn Reviewing Dell Books Amid Mounting LBO OppositionTCI Pressures Coal India
  • A REVIEW OF FINANCIAL ACTIVISM BY GENEVA PARTNERS March 15th,2013TOP ACTIVIST STORIES N°72GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comFermenting Change at DanoneBy Jonathan BuckMarch 2nd, 2013The French dairy giant is cuttingcosts and chasing profits, instead ofmarket share. This follows activistinvestor Nelson Peltzs Trian FundManagement taking a stake. Peltzbelieves the company can liftshareholder value.When Nelson Peltztalks, the wise corporate managerslisten. Peltz, head of Trian FundManagement, is an activist investorwith a long and successful record innumerous industries, includingpackaged foods. He has helped totransform and boost shareholdervalue at companies ranging from H.J.Heinz (HNZ) to Cadbury Schweppes toKraft Foods (KRFT).In November, Peltz and his associatesset their sights on Danone (BN), theFrench dairy giant, whosemanagement so far seems willing tolend an ear. Perhaps its justcoincidence, but after several years oflackluster performance, Danone iscutting costs and chasing profits,instead of market share. The changein strategy could lead to robust profitgrowth at the Paris-based companystarting in 2014, and a powerful rallyin Danones shares.Trian, which reported a 1% stake inDanone last November, believes thatthe company can unlock value byimplementing a leaner cost structureand avoiding dilutive mergers, aproblem in the past. Peltz indicated inNovember, at an investmentconference in Chicago, that Trian willhave an implied per-share value forDanone of 78 euros ($102), includingdividends, by the end of 2014. Thatsuggests a return of 47%, given thestocks current price of €53.Danone has a market value of €34billion ($44 billion). The shares alsotrade in the U.S. via AmericanDepositary Receipts (DANOY), whichfetched $13.80 on Friday. TheEuropean shares yield 2.7%.Danone has all the right ingredientsfor success, despite disappointingsales in Southern Europe and toughcompetition from cheaper, private-label yogurt brands. At a time whenpeople are worrying about long-termhealth problems like obesity anddiabetes, the company has built oneof the best and broadest portfolios tomeet the needs of health-consciousconsumers.In addition to yogurt products soldunder the Danone, Dannon,Stonyfield, and Actimel brands,Danone sells bottled waters such asEvian and Volvic, and infant formula.It also has a small medical-nutritionbusiness that sells dietarysupplements for children and adults.Its largest business segment, FreshDairy Products, accounts for about56% of annual sales.Danone was founded in 1919 as asmall yogurt company in Barcelonaand named for the owners sonDaniel. In the 1970s, its successorcompany merged with a Frenchglassmaker. By 1990, Danone had soldthe glass businesses to focus entirelyon food.PepsiCo (PEP) was rumored to bemulling a takeover bid for thecompany in 2005, but an offer nevermaterialized after Danone Chairmanand CEO Franck Riboud declared thatthe company wasnt for sale, and theFrench government decried thepotential sale of a national "jewel."Danone expects to earn €3.11 a sharein 2013, a largely transitional year,with estimated earnings rising to€3.41 in 2014. The company netted€1.8 billion, or €3.01 a share, in 2012,up from €2.89 a share in 2011, onrevenue of €20.9 billion. Free cashflow rose more than 11% last year, to€2.09 billion, and has more thandoubled in the past five years.Investors arent paying a lot forDanones shares, which have yet torevisit their all-time high of €60.11,set in January 2008. Depressed byprofit warnings, the stock trades for15.6 times forecast 2014 earnings,well below its 10-year averageprice/earnings multiple of18.7. Nestlé (NESN), in contrast,trades for 16.7 times 2014 estimates.Historically, Danone has traded at apremium to Nestlé.Danones business model is far frombroken, but management is takingaggressive steps, possibly underPeltzs influence, to regaincompetitiveness, especially in Europe,which accounts for 52% of annualsales. In announcing 2012 results inmid-February, Danone said it plans tocut about 900 jobs in Europe,streamlining marketing, which willsave it €200 million by year-end 2014.That will help to reverse a decline inprofit margins even as sales tickhigher, but the impact wont reachthe bottom line until next year. Thecompany declined to comment, as didTrian executives.Danones profit margin shrank in2012, to 14.2% from 14.7% in 2011,largely due to the financial squeeze inEurope. It is expected to contract byanother 30 to 50 basis points (a basispoint is 1/100 of a percentage point)in 2013, depending on how quickly ….
  • 3GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comthe company can realize benefitsfrom savings. Profitability at rivals hasbeen increasing; Nestlés profitmargin swelled by 20 basis points in2012, to 15.2%, and Unilevers (ULVR)improved by 30 basis points, to13.8%.Trian has said it thinks Danone canboost its profit margin to 15.1% in2015, if management can meet itscost-cutting goals. The savings alonecould add 80 basis points to margin bythen, taking Danone to within reachof Trians target, says Chris Pavese,chief investment officer at BroyhillAsset Management in Lenoir, N.C.,which owns Danone shares."We think these hurdles are set prettylow, so its hard to say [Danone] wonthit them," he says.Danone derives more than 60% ofrevenue from what it calls growthmarkets, where sales rose 12.4% lastyear. The category includes majormarkets such as Russia, France, theU.S., and China. European sales,excluding greater Russia, fell 3%, butcarry profit margins of 15.7%, abovethe 13.2% margin in growth markets.The companys most promising regionis the U.S., currently 8% of sales.Danone has captured almost a third ofthe U.S. market for fresh dairyproducts with the help of DannonsOikos Greek yogurts.Russia has overtaken France,meanwhile, as Danones biggestcountry market, after the companyexpanded there a few years agothrough a joint venture with a localpartner, Unimilk.The joint-venture strategy has workedelsewhere, as well, although Danonewas involved in a messy exit in 2009from a Chinese venture following adispute over revenue sharing.Investors worry that Danone mightdirect more of its resources tomergers and acquisitions, but for thetime being its management seemsfocused on increasing profits. Riboudrecently dismissed the notion that thecompany planned to raise its 20%stake in Yakult Honsha (2267), aJapanese maker of fermented lacticdrinks.Trians plans for its Danone stake areunknown, and Danone could yet snubits Gallic nose at Peltz & Co. ButDanones determination to addressweak markets and decliningprofitability is a step in the rightdirection."It shows that Danone has matured insome ways," says Jon Cox, an analystat Kepler Capital Markets, who ratesthe stock Buy with a 12-month pricetarget of €59.In other words, the shares could be atasty meal for investors.Activist fund becomes Danske Banks 2nd biggest investorBy Johannes Hellstrom and OleMikkelsenMarch 7th, 2013Activist investorCevian Capital has raised its stake inDenmanks Danske Bank A/S in whatcould be a prelude to becoming moredirectly involved in the banksrecovery program.Sweden-based Cevian said onThursday it had raised its stake to justover 9 percent, becoming the second-biggest shareholder in the bank whichis recovering from a deep crisis.Danske, Denmarks biggest bank, saidin February it had reached a turningpoint after posting a nearly four-foldrise in quarterly pretax profit.Cevian on its website describes itsstrategy as to invest in companieswhere there is a "meaningfulopportunity to enhance ... long-termvalue by improving corporategovernance, operationalperformance, corporate strategy andstructure."Its recent track record includessupporting a restructuring at Britishindustrial materials group CooksonPlc, which said in November it wouldsplit into two companies in a bid toboost shareholder returns.Cevian said it had raised its stakewhen Danish philanthropicassociation Realdania reduced itsholding, putting 52 million Danskeshares, or around 5 percent of thetotal, on the market.Cevian managing partner LarsForberg, set to take a seat onDanskes board later in March,declined to give any further commentabout Cevians plans for the bank.Something in returnOne analyst said it showed Ceviansconfidence in Danskes recovery."It illustrates even more clearly thatthey are serious, that they believe inthe Danske Bank case," senior equityanalyst Christian Hede at Jyske Banksaid. "They have invested in theexpectation of getting something inreturn. Its good news for the othershareholders."Cevian is the second-biggestshareholder behind Maersk Group,which as of March 6 owned 22.8percent.Danske has not paid dividends since2007, having been stung by bad debtsfrom a burst property bubble andwrite-downs on loans to strugglingfarmers. It has lately raised 7.15billion Danish crowns ($1.3 billion) innew capital and laid off staff to helpturn its business around.Cevian is also a shareholder in truckmaker Volvo and Finnish groupMetso, as well as German industrialservices company Bilfinger andinsurance group Old Mutual. It sayson its website that it has more than 6billion euros under management.Shares in Danske were up 1.3 percentto 107.5 crowns by 1035 GMT,outperforming both Copenhagensmain index, down 0.4 percent, andthe S&P European bank index, up 0.5percent.The stock is still lower than beforeRealdania announced the sale, whenit stood at 111.3 crowns, but it is wellup on a low of 61.15 crowns set inlate 2011.Source : ReutersSource : Barron’s View slide
  • Source : The Wall Street Journal4GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comBy Steven RussolilloMarch 7th, 2013The saga surrounding Herbalife Ltd.continues.Pershing Square’sBill Ackman, the hedge-fund managerwho has bet big against shares of thenutritional supplement maker,released a statement Tuesday nightapplauding a consumer group’s pleafor the Federal Trade Commission toinvestigate Herbalife as a potentialpyramid scheme.Earlier Tuesday, the NationalConsumers League released a letterurging the FTC to take action becausethe allegations against Herbalife couldimpact consumers. The group said ithad met separately withrepresentatives from Herbalife,Pershing Square and the Direct SellingAssociation, and concluded that aninvestigation is the best answer todetermine whether Herbalife is alegitimate business or whether itoperates a pyramid scheme.“We are pleased that the NationalConsumers League, the nation’soldest and one of the most respectedconsumer protection organizations,has requested that the FTC launch aninvestigation of Herbalife,” Ackmanreleased in a statement. “We believethat a thorough investigation ofHerbalife will reveal it to be a pyramidscheme that has harmed millions ofconsumers in more than 80 countriesaround the world.”Ackman has said U.S. regulators riskembarrassment if they fail to takeaction against Herbalife. ”If the FTCmisses Herbalife, it’s the equivalent ofthe SEC missing Madoff,” he said at aconference last month.Herbalife has repeatedly calledAckman’s allegations malicious andhas accused him of trying tomanipulate its stock, a charge he hasdenied.“Allegations that Herbalife’s businessmodel is a pyramid scheme areserious charges with seriousconsequences for consumers andthose who are recruited to sellHerbalife’s products,” said SallyGreenberg, executive director at theNational Consumers League. “The FTCis the federal agency with the rightmandate and expertise to explorethese allegations.”Herbalife shares finished Tuesdaydown 2.1% at $40.38.Other prominent investors haveentered the fray in recent months,adding mystique to the showdownthat has already captivated WallStreet. Carl Icahn has been building asizable stake in the company. Lastmonth Herbalife said it had reachedan agreement with the billionaireinvestor to increase the size of itsboard and nominate two Icahnrepresentatives.One Herbalife shareholder voiced hisdispleasure after learning aboutAckman’s response to the consumergroup’s call for an Herbalifeinvestigation.“You are witnessing the sad show of apainted-into-a-corner short sellergrasping at whatever straws he canreach,” said Robert Chapman Jr., anactivist investor who startedaccumulating shares in Herbalife latelast year after Ackman laid out hisbearish case against the company.“The obvious risk of Ackman’sblatantly cajoling, and then bullying ofa 32-year diligent federal regulator isthat it seems to be backfiring on him,”Chapman said. “The FTC seems tohave said ‘no’ to him, but he justkeeps insulting and deriding themover and over again.”Herbalife and the Direct SellingAssociation both respondedWednesday morning to the NCL letterand Ackman’s statement.“We regret that the NationalConsumers League has permitteditself to be the mechanism by whichPershing Square continues its attackon Herbalife,” Herbalife said in anemailed statement. “If anything, it isPershing Square that should beinvestigated by appropriateauthorities. Its actions are motivatedby a reckless $1 billion bet against thecompany based on knowingly falsestatements about Herbalife. Thosestatements unquestionably causeharm to our consumers and investorsand indeed all consumers andinvestors.”Ackman Praises Plea for Herbalife ProbeExtracted From Pershing Squarepresentation entitled «side-by-side :A comparison of Fortune Hi-TechMarketing and Herbalife» publishedon March 14th, 2013.The FTC has asked courts to freezethe assets of Fortune Hi-TechMarketing, which it alleges is apyramid scheme. View slide
  • Source : Bloomberg5GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comEni Won’t Spin Off Saipem Regardless of Knight Vinke RequestBy Sonia Sirletti and AlessandraMigliaccioMarch 8th, 2013Eni Spa (ENI) has noplans to spin off oil servicescompany Saipem SpA(SPM) regardless of pressure fromshareholder Eric Knight, Eni ChairmanGiuseppe Recchi said.Correspondence between Knight andEni on the issue was part of normalrelations with shareholders, Recchitold reporters at a conference todayin Cernobbio, Italy. “We pay attentionto what our shareholders say,” hesaid.Knight, founder of the Knight Vinkefund, which owns less than 1 percentof Italy’s biggest oil company, wrote aletter to Eni Chief Executive OfficerPaolo Scaroni last week saying aspinoff of Saipem would be beneficial.The contents of the letter werereported by Italian newspaper Il Sole24 Ore.Knight argued that Eni should freeitself from Saipem, whose shares havefallen more than 30 percent since theend of January when reports emergedthat the company may be the subjectof an enquiry. Scaroni and severalmanagers were put underinvestigation Feb. 7 as part of a probeinto the award of oil- servicescontracts to Saipem in Algeria. Thecompany has denied any wrongdoing.Saipem also lost market value aftersaying on Jan. 30 that 2013 earningsbefore interest and tax would be lessthan half the amount expected due todelays in contract awards andcontracts entered into at lowermargins.Shares recovered today, gaining asmuch as 3.2 percent to 21.6 euros,the highest price since Feb. 7. Thatboosted Saipem’s market value to 9.5billion euros. Analysts at GoldmanSachs raised the shares to “convictionlist buy” from “neutral” on March 5,citing likely margin recovery beyond2013 and overly conservativemanagement guidance.Separately, Recchi declined tocomment on whether the companywas in talks with China NationalPetroleum Corp. for a stake in a gasproject in Mozambique.Icahn Reviewing Dell Books Amid Mounting LBO OppositionBy Lisa RapaportMarch 11th, 2013Billionaire CarlIcahn is reviewing Dell Inc. (DELL)’sbooks as he pushes alternatives to aproposed $24.4 billion leveragedbuyout of the personal computermaker that faces mounting resistancefrom investors.Icahn, who has amassed a stake inDell and is urging the company to paya special dividend of $9 a share, saidin a statement today that he signed aconfidentiality agreement with Dell toexamine information, withoutproviding additional detail. DavidFrink, a spokesman for Dell, declinedto comment beyond the public filing,and representatives for Icahn anddidn’t respond to requests forcomment.Dell’s board is seeking bids higherthan the $13.65 a share offer by ChiefExecutive Officer Michael Dell andSilver Lake Management LLC to takethe company private. The deal --which requires approval from amajority of shareholders excludingCEO Dell -- has been opposed byshareholders including SoutheasternAsset Management Inc. and T. RowePrice Group Inc., who have said theprice undervalues the company.Icahn’s signing of a confidentialityagreement shows his intention to stayinvolved in the transaction until he’sguaranteed a profit, said AnthonyMichael Sabino, a professor at John’sUniversity’s Peter J. Tobin College ofBusiness. He may attempt his owntakeover or support a third-partybidder.Go-Shop Period“This opens up a host of possibilities,”Sabino said in an interview. “Dell isfully in play.”Icahn said last week that he askedDell’s board to pledge that it willimplement his dividend proposal ifshareholders reject the Michael Dell-led offer. Otherwise, Icahn said he willstart a proxy fight and seek to replacedirectors of the Round Rock, Texas-based company with his owncandidates.The so-called go-shop period for thecompany to seek higher bids runsthrough March 22, and Dell said lastweek that it welcomes Icahn andother parties to participate in thatprocess.By reviewing Dell’s records, Icahnratchets up pressure on MichaelDell to raise his bid, according to ErikGordon, a business and law professorat the Stephen M. Ross School ofBusiness at the University ofMichigan in Ann Arbor.“It puts Icahn closer to being able tomake a competing bid, and itprobably would cost Michael more totop an Icahn bid than it would costhim to raise his own offer just enoughto get some of the big investors tosupport it,” Gordon said in an e-mailed statement.Dell rose 1.5 percent to $14.37 at theclose in New York, signaling thatinvestors anticipate a higher buyoutoffer. The stock has advanced 42percent this year, compared with a9.1 percent gain for the Standard &Poor’s 500 Index.Source : Bloomberg
  • 6GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comBy Shefali AnandMarch 13th, 2013The ChildrensInvestment Fund Management, aU.K.-based hedge fund, hasthreatened to pursue legal actionagainst the board of Coal India Ltd.,Indias largest coal producer, forallegedly not protecting the interestsof minority shareholders.In a letter to Coal Indias boardmembers and top executives onMonday, TCI said that it had"sufficient evidence" to show that thecompanys board was simply followinggovernment instructions on businessmatters, rather than actingindependently."It is unacceptable that the board is…not protecting minority shareholderswho have invested in good faith in thecompany," said the letter by TCIpartner Oscar Veldhuijzen.Though TCI owns just around 1% ofCoal Indias shares, it is the companyssecond largest shareholder after thegovernment of India. It has ownedthese shares since Coal Indias initialpublic offering late 2010.Minority shareholders in India rarelyvoice concerns about companypolicies, typically because thecompanies are primarily owned andrun by the founder and the foundersfamily. A stand against the Indiangovernment is even more rare.TCIs letter to Coal India executiveswas triggered after Coal Indiareversed a move to increase its coalprices, which was effective Jan 1. TCIofficials say the reversal was done atthe behest of the government.TCI used Indias Right to InformationAct to obtain a copy of a letter fromAlok Perti, a senior official in Indiascoal ministry, to then-Coal Indiachairman N.C. Jha. In the letter, datedJan. 25, Mr. Perti wrote that manyministers, members of parliament andcoal consumer associations hadprotested the increase in prices byCoal India."You are requested to review/revisethe above-stated CILs pricenotification latest by 31st January,"Mr. Perti said in the letter. Coal Indiaannounced its reversal on Jan. 31.Mr. Perti could not be reached forcomment. An official at the CoalMinistry said the letter sent by Mr.Perti was not "a directive" whichwould have been binding on CoalIndia. Since it only asked for a review,it was up to Coal Indias board tomake the final decision, the officialsaid. News of TCIs threat wasreported in Tuesdays editions of theBusiness Standard and Times of India.TCI takes issue with the fact that CoalIndias board didnt put up anyresistance to the governmentsmessage."They simply implemented theGovernments instructions withoutany debate, question or challenge, inbreach of fiduciary duty," said theletter from TCI.It noted that Coal India currently sellscoal at a price which is 70% belowinternational market prices."Contrary to the reputation Indiaseeks to gain in the globalmarketplace as a fair ground forforeign investors, we find the actionsof CIL and its individual boardmembers to be reckless and lacking,"the letter added. "We will hold eachmember personally liable."Of Coal Indias seven independentboard members, five are formerbureaucrats.Coal India spokesman Vijay Sagar saidhe had not seen TCIs letter so couldnot comment on it. He said CoalIndias management and board was inmeetings in Delhi. Coal ministryofficials also said they had not seenthe letter sent by TCI, so could notcomment on it.This is not the first time TCI has triedto assert itself as a shareholder ofCoal India. The $9 billion-fund isknown globally for being an activistinvestor, using various strategies topressure companies to take steps thefund believes will help boost shareprices.In 2008, the fund locked horns with aJapanese utility company, ElectricPower Development Co., or J-Power,through its 9.9% stake in thecompany. TCI was demanding that thecompany raise its dividends, and triedto increase its ownership of thecompany to 20% to get more say inthe company.However, a worried Japanesegovernment stepped in to block TCIsbid for more control, and after abitter battle, TCI eventually sold itsstake in late November at a loss.In the same year, TCI got a victory inits fight with German stock exchangeoperator Deutsche Borse AG. Thecompanys then-chief executiveresigned following weeks of pressureby TCI and other shareholders, whowere pushing for a change ofpersonnel.Now, TCI seems to be bringing itsactivism to India.Mr. Veldhuijzen said in a phoneinterview on Tuesday that the firmhas been in touch with lawyers inIndia to discuss a possible wayforward. "We will consider all legalactions," he said.In the letter to Coal India directors,TCI listed several issues it had withthe management of the company,including lack of action on theprevalent theft of coal and thetolerance of inefficient undergroundcoal mines."What Im demanding is some clearpublic commitment" to rectify thevarious breaches to fiduciary duties,Mr. Veldhuijzen said in an interview.He said that if the government hadhoped to continue running Coal Indiaas a government company, "thecompany should have never beenlisted" for sale of shares to the public.TCI Pressures Coal IndiaSource : The Wall Street Journal
  • 7GENEVA PARTNERS – 33 Quai Wilson – 1201 Geneva – Switzerland – Tel. : +41/22 906 95 95 – info@geneva-partners.com – www.geneva-partners.comThis newsletter has been prepared by, and is subject to the copyright of, Geneva Partners S.A. (Geneva Partners).This newsletter is confidential and has been furnished to the intended recipient solely for such recipient’s information and private useand may not be referred to, disclosed, reproduced or redistributed, in whole or in part, to any other person.This newsletter has been prepared on the basis of information provided to Geneva Partners and publicly available information. Thisinformation has not been independently verified by Geneva Partners. This newsletter does not constitute a due diligence review andshould not be construed as such. No representation or warranty as to this newsletters accuracy, completeness or correctness is madeand no reliance should be placed on the accuracy, completeness or correctness thereof. The information contained, and any opinionsexpressed, in this newsletter are subject to change at any time and Geneva Partners is under no obligation to inform the intendedrecipient or any other person of any such change.Geneva Partners accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever in relation to this newsletter (including for any error or in relation tothe accuracy, completeness or correctness of this newsletter). The exclusion of liability provided herein shall protect Geneva Partners,its officers and employees in all circumstances.This newsletter is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision and does not constitute or form part of any offer to sell oran invitation to subscribe for, hold or purchase any securities or any other investment, and neither this newsletter nor anythingcontained herein shall form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever. This newsletter isnot, and should not be treated or relied upon as investment research or a research recommendation under applicable regulatory rules.Geneva Partners is a member of the Swiss Association of Asset Managers (SAAM).Franck Berlamont Jean-François Bassignot